09 March 2024

Arabian Green Bee-eater – Tendaha Dam

Whilst birding at Tendaha Dam, near Khamis Mushait, Southwest Saudi Arabia I came across some Arabian Green Bee-eaters. It has a status as a common breeding resident in central and western areas of the Kingdom. This species is widely spread from the Riyadh area and central Saudi Arabia across to the Red Sea coast in the west of the Kingdom. There are two subspecies Merops cyanophrys cyanophrys southern Israel, western Jordan and western & southern Arabia and Merops cyanophrys muscatensis central Saudi Arabia, eastern Yemen, United Arab Emirates and Oman. The differences between the two subspecies are very subtle with the following the main points. 

Merops cyanophrys cyanophrys

Green colours less bronzy and more blue-tinged

Forehead, eyebrow and throat blue

Gorget deep and less well defined

Tail streamers short and pointed

Merops cyanophrys muscatensis


More yellowish and less blueish above and below

Breast band narrower